Without A Net | Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Marvel teases reboot of their comics for the first time: What is 'Secret Wars'?

The covers to the last issues of the current runs of "Avengers" and "New Avengers," leading into "Secret Wars."

Marvel Comics held a press conference this week announcing details about "Secret Wars," a company-wide comic book crossover that they promise will change everything.

Promises of change in comics often don't amount to much, but here's why this one just might, with Marvel teasing that it will produce a whole new world for its characters.

"We see this as putting an endcap to decades of stories and starting a new era," said Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. "And when you see the scope of the event, you see what we're doing, what we're willing to do, this is a place where we're going to be bringing new pieces onto the board and taking old pieces off. You guys will be yelling and screaming, you'll be loving, hating, and in equal measure."

Reboot history

Rival DC Comics has always been quick to have stories designed to streamline their history, with the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" being the most famous one — a story that destroyed the DC Comics universe of the time, birthing a new timeline that gave us the versions of DC's heroes we know today. Several minor and major reboots followed, with the biggest since then being 2011's New 52 (and a tease of another one with this April's "Convergence").


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Maroon 5 called out for faking 'Sugar' wedding crashing

A screenshot from Maroon 5's "Sugar" music video.
Maroon 5

Maroon 5 has a new music video built around a simple, viral-bait premise: Adam Levine and the rest of the band trying to crash as many weddings around Los Angeles as they can in one day (Dec. 6 of last year). It's a lot of fun, directed by "Wedding Crashers" movie director David Dobkin, but it appears that some of those "crashed weddings" may have been staged.

Watch the video (warning: contains adult language):

Maroon 5: Sugar

Fans have noticed that several of the couples seen in the video appear to be actors. Actors Stephen and Barbara Woo posted on Facebook that they played the parents of one of the brides in the video and said that not only were the weddings staged, they didn't even take place on one day, claiming that all the weddings were shot in the same location over the course of three days.


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#OscarsSoWhite: Twitter says the Oscars aren't diverse enough

The backdrop of the stage with the Oscar Award is seen onstage during the 84th Academy Awards announcement held at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Samuel Goldwyn Theater on Jan. 24, 2012 in Los Angeles.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The Academy Awards have made history with breakthroughs for minorities in the past — but with this year's nominations, observers are noting how white the Oscars are, with no actors of color nominated in any of this year's acting categories.

It marks the least diverse nominations since 1998. People have been speaking out about this disconnect, with films like "Selma" being shut out of the acting nominations (though it did pick up a Best Picture nomination).




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'Lost in Space' robot designer Robert Kinoshita dies at 100

Video of the B9 robot from "Lost In Space" and his most famous catchphrases.
timtomp (via YouTube)

Robert Kinoshita, the Los Angeles native who designed the iconic robots from "Lost in Space" and "Forbidden Planet," has passed away. He was 100 years old.

Konishita died Dec. 9 at a Torrance nursing home, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing family friend Mike Clark. His creations included "Forbidden Planet's" Robby the Robot, the B9 robot from "Lost in Space," Tobor from "Tobor the Great" and more. Kinoshita also created "Lost in Space's" iconic flying-saucer-shaped Jupiter 2 spaceship.

Kinoshita built the original miniature prototype of Robby the Robot out of wood and plastic by combining several different concepts, according to the Reporter; the Rafu Shimpo reported that he struggled with the design.

"I thought, what the hell. We’re wasting so much time designing and drawing one sketch after another. I said to myself, I’m going to make a model," Kinoshita told the Rafu Shimpo in a 2004 interview. "Then one day, the art director sees the model. He says, ‘Give me that thing.’ He grabbed it and ran. ... Ten minutes later, he comes running back and puts the model back on my desk and says, ‘Draw it!’"


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See NASA's travel posters for planets in other solar systems

Like Luke Skywalker's planet Tatooine in "Star Wars," Kepler-16b orbits a pair of stars.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released a trio of faux travel posters for several "exoplanets" — planets outside our own solar system, orbiting different stars. The posters were produced under JPL's "PlanetQuest" banner, which they call "the search for another Earth." So far, PlanetQuest has discovered 4,988 exoplanets.

As Engadget notes, the posters are echoes of the Works Progress Administration's travel prints from the mid-1930s; they also probably remind Disney-goers of the travel posters on the walkways leading to the Star Tours ride. The images represent both something old and something entirely new on the frontiers of human exploration.

Click on the posters to expand them to full high-resolution size.


The poster for Kepler-16b draws attention to its two suns, as it orbits a pair of stars. NASA itself points out a science fiction planet that fits the same description: Luke Skywalker's Tatooine from "Star Wars." NASA also notes that, while it's depicted in the poster as being a more Earth-like, terrestrial planet, it may also be a Saturn-like gas giant. Also, chances for life there aren't great — the temperature is close to that of dry ice. Still, that two-sun sunset could actually be real.


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